Importance of gratitude in Leadership
A few weeks ago, I was in one of those days. Despite the fact that nothing tragic occurred, there was a sequence of little occurrences that did not contribute to a pleasant day. Therefore, many of the everyday road bumps seemed to be more severe than they really were as a consequence of my state of mind. I was really fatigued and irritated by the end of the day.
The fact was, I didn’t want to waste any of the remaining time I had in the day by feeling like this. It was unfair to my family and to myself. The last thing I wanted was to be irritable with them or to be unable to sleep because I was tossing and turning in bed. Consequently, I spent a few minutes to myself and concentrated on all of the positive aspects of my day. I also took time to think on all of the little things that contributed to an excellent day.
Moreover, guess what? It wasn’t only that I felt better. I was in a fantastic mood.
It may seem weird, but thankfulness has the ability to transform lives. In order to become a better leader, as well as a better person, it is one of the most effective methods available. However, if you are still not persuaded, allow me to explain why leaders should practice appreciation and how they might do so on a daily basis in this article.
How being grateful may help you become a better leader.
Before I go into how thankfulness may help you become a better leader, I believe it’s important for everyone to understand why we know about the appreciation hook in the first place. A study conducted by Robert A. Emmons, PhD, of the University of California at Davis examined the impact of gratitude on one’s well-being. Emmons conducted research on the effects of thankfulness on our physical health, psychological well-being, and our interpersonal relationships. Emmons has been immersed in this study for more than a decade and has discovered that appreciation has the following benefits:
Immune systems that are stronger.
Aches and pains aren’t bothering me as much.
Lowering blood pressure is beneficial.
They should increase their physical activity and take better care of their health.
Sleep for a longer period of time and wake up feeling more refreshed.
Positive emotions are present in greater quantities.
More alert, vibrant, and awakened than before.
More joy, optimism, happiness, and pleasure will be experienced.
More considerate, giving, and caring in their actions.
More tolerant to others.
You are less lonely and alone, and you are more outgoing as a result.
While all of these benefits are available to anybody, they are especially beneficial to individuals in positions of leadership. It will be more difficult to cope with the duties of being a leader if we do not take care of ourselves psychologically and physically.
According to Emmons and Anjali Mishra’s research, thankfulness has been shown to reduce stress. They also discovered that “gratitude motivates effortful goal-seeking behavior.”
Is it all right with you? But, how can appreciation help you become a better and more successful leader, and how might it do so?
The thankfulness that leaders should nurture, according to Nicole Lipkin, leads to more involvement, more good relationships, and the development of resistance. Furthermore, appreciation aids in the recognition of one’s own successes. Thankfulness motivates you to keep your attention on your accomplishments. You will not be consumed by the successes or failures of your competition, and you will be contributing to the betterment of others in your immediate vicinity.
While gratitude allows you to recognize and appreciate your achievements, it also serves to keep your ego in check. Because gratitude will allow you to see that you would not be as successful if it weren’t for the support of others, you will be more successful. Perhaps it is due to the fact that you have a partner who has been your major source of support and inspiration throughout your life. You were able to begin your company because of the financial support of a business partner. Alternatively, it may be that your company vision has become a reality as a result of your workers’ hard work and devotion.
Others are drawn to us when we are grateful and positive, which is another benefit. When it comes to networking and acquiring top talent, being friendly and encouraging are essential. According to a research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, when leaders express gratitude to their people, the personnel perform 50 percent better.
Further research done by David DeSteno at Northwestern University discovered that being thanks or appreciative might help you be more patient when it comes to money. And, in the words of Gary Vaynerchuk, “When you’re feeling thankful, it’s difficult not to remain motivated or not to get too down on yourself.”
How to be grateful on a daily basis as a leader.
In case you’re ready to tap into the transformative power of gratitude, here are nine easy ways to incorporate thankfulness into your daily routine.
1. Make time every day to focus on what you are grateful for.
I get what you’re saying. With all you have going on, I seriously doubt that practicing thankfulness is a priority or even at the top of your to-do list. However, if you schedule a particular time to express thankfulness in your calendar, it will quickly become a top-of-mind concern. It will become second nature to express gratitude as you recognize what you have to be grateful for over time.
For example, taking time to contemplate with thankfulness during a break might help you step up your game of awareness and become more mindful. Close your eyes and think on any good surprises you’ve had thus far. This may be considered a meditation time. Consider what life would be like if you didn’t have any staff. Consider how well your company is doing — and remember to express your gratitude to your customers, staff, and members of your community.
Personally, I’ve incorporated the practice of appreciation into my nighttime ritual. I have a gratitude diary in which I record everything for which I am grateful. It’s a wonderful way to wind down at the end of the day and helps to put things in perspective on those more difficult days.
2. Be true to yourself.
Gratitude is more powerful when it is expressed in a sincere manner. For example, if an employee has just finished a project, you may do more than simply express your appreciation. Mention a particular action by stating something like, “Thank you, Jim, for completing this project ahead of schedule.” “I love the fact that you are so dependable.”
3. Rejoice in both major and minor victories.
We all like commemorating big anniversaries, and you should continue to do so indefinitely. Massive discoveries, on the other hand, do not occur on a daily basis. You will, however, experience tiny successes and wonderful moments on a daily basis. If you happen to see one of your teammates doing something fantastic, don’t be afraid to tell them how much you admire them and appreciate their efforts. Those apparently little words of encouragement will build up over time and make a difference.
4. Express your gratitude to your employees on a daily basis.
Compliments should be real and honest, and you may need to rehearse saying something if you come off as false or insincere the first time. Instead of saying, “certainly appreciate you,” when reading a report, be one of those leaders who says, “sure appreciate you.” Keep in mind the significance of eye contact, a genuine victory, and a genuine complement. Genuine efforts make the other person feel like a million dollars, and it becomes second nature to you when you do it consistently.
Giving your coworkers positive feedback, asking questions, coming on time every day and taking the initiative are all examples of positive behaviors. Other possibilities include acknowledging how beneficial a member of the team is to others — for example, their pleasant attitude, their inventiveness, or their education.
5. Don’t forget to give credit where credit is due to your unsung heroes.
Every company has a “rockstar” who stands out from the others. That isn’t always a negative development. However, you don’t want to be the center of attention all of the time. Include the backup singers, backing band, and roadies in your acknowledgement of their efforts. Not only should you notice your support columns, but you should also notice your angel-corbels at the top.
In the case of my freelancers, I always give them a shoutout and even offer them gifts. Sending them something shows them that I appreciate their efforts and also helps them to feel like they are a part of the team, which is important.
6. Show an interest in the work of your organization.
I would suggest that showing an interest in your workers’ lives might be the most natural thing you could do to express your appreciation to them. Take a few of minutes to chat with them and get to know them better. Some of your workers have no one else to turn to for help but the rest of the team. Giving them a shout-out will allow you to add them as a member of your team.
Send an email, send a brief Slack message — do anything to get things moving. In order to get to know your team members, you should ask them questions. Inquire about how they’re doing, what they’re interested in, and what they’re thinking about. It’s a straightforward method to demonstrate your concern for them as a person and your recognition of them as a member of your organization’s community.
7. Make learning opportunities available.
According to ClearCompany research, 76 percent of workers expect prospects for advancement in their positions. Go ahead and give them with possibilities for personal and professional development. For example, online seminars, in-person workshops, or the opportunity to attend an industry convention — and maybe even meet up with you and your group — are all possibilities.
In related news, here’s how you increase employee retention with lifelong learning.
8. Allow workers to express their opinions.
When workers are given the chance to express themselves and share their ideas, they feel more appreciated and respected. It’s also a wonderful method to communicate your thanks to them, since it lets them know that you want them to be a part of important choices and achievements.
You could always use the good ol’ suggestion box to get some ideas. However, I believe that it is more productive to elicit feedback from your team and to provide time at the conclusion of meetings with them for them to contribute their thoughts and ideas.
9. Foster a good workplace environment.
To summarize, creating an environment that promotes a healthy work culture will make your team more productive, happier, creative, and collaborative. Cultivating a good culture in the midst of the frantic pace of technology also communicates that you cherish and respect your employees as individuals, rather than as cogs in the machine of business.
There are a plethora of approaches that may be used to create a happy environment. You might begin by wishing your staff a good morning when they come at work each day. You may also surprise them by purchasing lunch for them, hosting a game night on a Friday afternoon, and showing respect to their time. Don’t forget to delegate authority to your team and address any harmful behaviors as soon as they arise.
The Importance of Showing Gratitude Through Your Leadership
A look at how expressing appreciation may assist leaders in bringing out the best in individuals they supervise and driving their businesses to success.
Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in Canada this past weekend, marking the nation’s last holiday long weekend before the inevitable chilly blast of winter comes to bury our country in snow and ice. While Thanksgiving in Canada differs from Thanksgiving in the United States in that it is a celebration of the end of the harvest season, what these two holidays have in common is that they are occasions for spending time with family and expressing gratitude for the good fortune we have experienced this year.
This weekend, after spending quality time with my family and catching up with everyone, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the occasions in which I spoke words of thanks with my family and the instances in which leaders communicate gratitude to people under their leadership.
After all, more than merely being a good thing to do, showing appreciation via our leadership has been demonstrated to have a meaningful influence on the overall productivity of our workers, if not also on the amount of devotion they bring to their jobs.
Dr. Adam Grant and Dr. Francesca Gino have been researching how expressions of gratitude influence prosocial behavior and fuel motivational drive for several years. One study in particular provides some interesting insights for leaders on the benefits of expressing gratitude to those who are under our care.
Dr. Grant and Dr. Gino performed an experiment to see how expressing appreciation would alter the motivation and commitment levels of fundraisers who were employed to collect cash for a university from within their alumni group.
For this experiment, the fundraisers were paid a predetermined sum regardless of how many calls they made, and they were each given daily feedback on their performance. The fundraisers were divided into two groups working different shifts, with one group receiving a personal visit from a university director who personally commended the fundraisers for their efforts, while the other group was simply allowed to do their given chores.
What the researchers discovered was that the fundraisers who got those letters of thanks from the university director made more phone calls to help collect money for the institution when compared to those who did not.
Dr. Grant and Dr. Gino came to the conclusion that displays of appreciation enhance employee motivation and performance levels because they make workers feel’socially valued.’
To be clear, this does not imply that all we need to do to boost our workers’ productivity is to just say “thank you.” Instead, the outcomes of this research suggest that real acknowledgement of your employees’ accomplishments will fire their internal drive and devotion.
To put it another way, this isn’t about offering some kind of personal validation to make people feel better about themselves. Instead, it is about making a deliberate effort to identify the worth or advantage that your workers provide to your team and business, as well as to yourself.
Consider those occasions when we show appreciation, whether it’s on Thanksgiving Day, a birthday or anniversary, or any other occasion that causes you to pause and reflect on your life and the successes or achievements you’ve accomplished. When we express thankfulness, what we are really doing is showing our appreciation for what we have accomplished and the great impact it has had on our lives.
Similarly, when it comes to showing appreciation via our leadership, it is not only a question of saying ‘thank you’ to our people for accomplishing their jobs. The goal is to appreciate and recognize the unique talents, features, and contributions that they have made to your organization’s evolution and growth.
Indeed, thankfulness is the finest kind of acknowledgment a leader can bestow on individuals under his or her supervision. It illustrates our knowledge of how the accomplishments and advances our company has achieved have not just been the result of our leadership, but have also been the consequence of the collective efforts made by our people.
In addition, it assists our workers in better understanding and appreciating the influence that their efforts have had on their colleagues and team.
If, for example, you have an employee who has a natural eagerness to bring out new projects that they would want to pursue, this may encourage other workers to put forward their own ideas. Alternatively, you may have an employee whose inherent people skills make them an important team member when it comes to breaking the ice with new customers.
Despite the fact that these behaviors and acts are not part of their job description, their efforts are significant since they contribute to the development of your firm.
This viewpoint allows us to better appreciate the advantages that expressing appreciation via our leadership may provide. It is important to remember that expressing gratitude is a powerful reminder of how we rely on one another to succeed and thrive that our accomplishments are not ours alone, but rather something that should be shared and celebrated as a community.
However, according to the findings of this research by Dr. Grant and Dr. Gino, there is another crucial advantage that results from leaders showing thanks to individuals under their supervision. Gratitude for others’ efforts on our behalf, as proven by these researchers, motivates them to provide even more assistance to assist us in achieving our goals. Moreover, it is not merely owing to any sense of reciprocity – in which they feel forced to contribute more as a result of how we see their efforts – that they are doing so.
As a consequence of their efforts, they have gained a more clear awareness of the value they are able to provide for others, which has resulted in them feeling more meaning and purpose in what they do; they feel like they are a part of something greater than themselves.
Gratitude, it seems to me, permits us to recognize the best in others around us, as well as how they assist us to accomplish and be better.
As a result, it becomes evident why showing appreciation via our leadership goes beyond just a pleasant gesture when we realize that it is exactly what is necessary to motivate and encourage our staff to put out their best efforts in the job they accomplish.
Indeed, we can now recognize it as a critical source of feedback that we should be providing to our employees in order to not only provide them with some context for the value they are creating through their efforts, but also to ignite within them the drive and desire to become a better version of themselves.
As a result, whether or not you celebrated Thanksgiving this past weekend, as my family and many of my fellow Canadians did, allow me to take this time to offer my thanks to all of my readers who have supported and championed my leadership articles and insights.